BT rejects Huawei's 5G network infrastructure bid in the UK

BT rejects Huawei's 5G network infrastructure bid in the UK

The firm will still use Huawei's antennas and other products not deemed to be in the "core", it has been reported.

BT also confirmed that it is in the process of removing Huawei components from core parts of its 4G network, though it will keep less significant equipment supplied by the Chinese company.

This time, it's BT that's triaging the Chinese telecoms company from its 4G network infrastructure within the next two years. And British spy chief Alex Younger has openly questioned if British telecoms firms were "comfortable" with Chinese ownership of the technology being used in their systems.

Huawei has repeatedly denied such accusations, pointing out that it works with security agencies around the world and that it sells products to more than 500 operators in 170 countries without issue.

Reuters meanwhile quoted Huawei as saying it had been working with BT for nearly 15 years, and since the beginning of its partnership, the telco had been operating on a principle of different vendors for different layers of its network.

Huawei will remain a key supplier in EE's 5G rollout, with its radio access network (RAN) expected to play a key role in connecting customers.

"We have never had a cybersecurity-related incident", said Huawei, who has been working with EE since 2012.

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To allay fears - led largely by the United States about the company, as well as its rival ZTE - a cyber security centre known as the "Cell" was established in Banbury, Oxfordshire, where infosec experts were employed to comb over Huawei gear and check it for potential misuse.

Huawei Technologies Co. stated earlier this year that the company is aware of a variety of the US government activities which seem to be aimed at inhibiting the business of Huawei in the USA market.

BT is removing Huawei equipment from the core of its existing 4G and 3G networks, and will not use technology from the Chinese company at the core of its new 5G network, reports the Financial Times.

Huawei also made a public statement saying it has already won 22 commercial contracts to supply 5G equipment to telecom operators.

Fellow UK mobile carrier Three last month also announced that it is working with Huawei on a 5G home broadband demo in London.

Earlier this year yet another government report warned that there was "only limited assurance" that Huawei technology would not pose a major risk to British critical infrastructure.

In 2016, BT acquired EE for £12.5 billion.

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